What local hospitals expect from flu season

Published: Oct. 12, 2022 at 5:54 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 12, 2022 at 5:56 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - With the cold temperatures on their way, many health professionals are worried about what the winter months might look like from a virus perspective.

Steve Woodruff, chief medical officer at NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital, said they are seeing a lot of cases across the south which is different than the normal.

“Usually, these things start in the northeast and then work their way down,” Woodruff said. “Predominantly we see one virus that is dominant at a time and that we don’t typically see them both.”

Every year NEA Baptist makes sure they are prepared for the higher volume but for the past two years, they have even taken that a step further which they are willing to do again if things get bad.

“We usually run longer hours which we did at our urgent cares last year,” Woodruff said. “We did drive through covid testing and flu testing last year and if we get into an endemic or pandemic phase either one, we will offer that.”

Woodruff encourages anyone with flu-like systems to go to an urgent care first before going to the hospital for the safety of everyone there.

“We try to keep flu cases out of the hospital, if possible,” Woodruff said. “We have 10 primary care sites most of which have urgent care clinics and that is where most of the action occurs.”

Woodruff added obviously the best defense against the flu is the flu shot and hopes everyone will take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and the people around them.